Candidate Experience

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What causes candidates to cancel an application process? According to a study, many companies are cumbersome, slow and unappealing: poor candidate experience.

This should give companies food for thought: 58 per cent of participants in the application report by Softgarden have already cancelled an application, even though they were actually interested in the advertised position. The most common reason for cancelling was a cumbersome application process, closely followed by a slow response from the company and an unsympathetic approach from contact persons.

Around 6,500 people took part in the online survey between October 2018 and January 2019, most of whom were working people, jobseekers and students.

Application forms do not fulfil expectations

A good 43 per cent of participants stated that online forms are their preferred application channel. However, many companies do not fulfil the expectations that candidates have of these forms. One of the reasons for this is that applicants are becoming increasingly impatient due to digitalisation. In 2014, only 22 per cent of applicants thought that a maximum of ten minutes should be enough to enter their data into an online application form. In the meantime, the impatient applicants even make up the majority: 45.1 per cent do not want to spend more than ten minutes.

The reality is different: 52.6 per cent needed more than ten minutes to enter their data for their applications. A good quarter even took longer than 20 minutes. Companies are therefore demanding time from their applicants that they don't actually want to spend.

Many candidates were also bothered by the fact that the forms were cumbersome. In the comments, some of them stated that there were technical problems or that they had to type their CV stations individually into masks. Some candidates were put off by the fact that they had to create an account to apply.

Excessively long waiting times and unsympathetic dialogue partners

For 42.5 per cent, too slow a response from the company was a reason for leaving. Application process to be cancelled. Because here too, expectations and reality are often far apart. Almost three quarters of applicants would like to receive an invitation to an interview within one to two weeks. However, this was not even the case for half of those surveyed in their last job interview.

The comments of the study participants revealed some grossly inconsiderate behaviour on the part of companies. One candidate stated that he had only received an invitation to an interview after six months - and had of course already had another job in the meantime. One candidate turned up on time for his interview, but then waited half an hour in vain for the recruiter, whereupon he left the office. Another candidate was annoyed by the arrogant behaviour and lack of empathy of his contact person.

Candidate Experience influences employer attractiveness

It is no surprise that a poor candidate experience damages both the employer brand and the reputation of the product itself. For 67.1 per cent of participants, the experiences from the recruitment process change their view of the product. A full 84.5 per cent stated that this had an impact on their view of the employer.

Companies often lose potentially highly qualified candidates for reasons that could easily have been avoided. Softgarden therefore strongly recommends taking a pleasant application process seriously as a factor in employer attractiveness. Above all, it is important to put yourself in the applicant's shoes and eliminate any inconsistencies and shortcomings that stand out.

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